Wednesday, March 30, 2011

True Blog Confessions

I don’t know what I’m doing.

Literally. When Scott set up this blog for me almost 7 years ago, he wanted me to delve in because he knew blogging was the wave of the future. After all, he works in IT. He believed me when I said 8 years ago that I sensed God calling me to write. He also believed me when I said God gave me no guarantees about being published, just that I’m supposed to write. So he said, “Blog!”

I said, “No, I’m going to write a book or two or three.” You see where that got me. . .

I couldn’t fathom blogging—I’m the type of writer who likes to edit until I think something sounds good before sending it into the world. Overwhelmed by kids, work, friends, laundry, grocery shopping, and my latest identity crisis, I couldn’t see putting any content up regularly, and so I didn’t.

But I’ve finally taken his advice, my New Years resolution was to blog at least once a week, and several nights ago I finally figured out how to find stats on my blog (click on “stats”—took me 7 years to figure that one out). And to my joy, I find that at this moment in time there are 3611 pageviews of my blog to date. Of course, Ling pointed out that between her clicking on my blog, and me clicking on my blog, we probably make up at least half of those pageviews.

Now I realize to most bloggers out there, 3611 would be a pitiful number—a sign that they’re a complete failure and should stop blogging right now. But wow! I just feel grateful that somebody’s actually reading my stuff—because to a writer, there’s nothing more gratifying!

Not only that, but I also have learned that when you click on “audience” I can see the countries where folks have read Plumbing Demons including the Netherlands, Australia (I know who you are!), Russia, India, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan!

But here are the things I’m still clueless about:

· Comments: I love them! Send them! But if I write back, do you get them? Is it like Facebook where everyone gets your comments? Do people check back? I haven’t responded to comments just because I don’t know how it works.

· Photos: How do you get an online photo to fit the blog? Obviously haven’t gotten it right with the Audrey II below. No idea. Is it possible on blogspot to imbed the photo? Can you put up more than one photo? No idea. I’m adding photos because a blog on how to write a blog said you need pictures—but if the photo doesn’t fit, isn’t that worse?

· Gender: For all 7 of you guys out there who’ve told me you read my blog, thank you, thank you, thank you! Does the fact that I changed the look to a girly pink/red/orange scheme mean your manhood will be assaulted by reading this blog now? Am I supposed to think about the male audience? No idea.

· Cooking: Stats also shows me that my recipes are not the most popular reads—there goes my future as a Cooking Channel chef! (Kai constantly asks if that’s my biggest aspiration) Do I dump the food? But then how will anyone get my world famous granola recipe that may someday go up?

· Links: I notice others put in hotlinks to websites. Don’t know how to do that either.

So Scott, you were right—you had foresight and wisdom and I’m sorry for not listening to you.

If anyone else has any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, please send them this way. It’s nice to know I’m not just sending posts out into the abyss of the blogosphere where they turn and twist alone in cyberspace wind.

Maybe I’ll even comment back.


Anonymous said...

i love reading your blogs. also, have noticed your increased blogging frequency. which, i like but at the same time makes me sad because i know i am missing posts due to my own businesses and slackness.

the new layout is more vivid and appealing. at list to a girlie gal like me.

the content is definitely what brings me back. you are R.E.A.L. and i've gotten fed up with mainstream *cristianese* and "i-have-it-all-tegether-cuz-all-works-for-the-good-of-those-who-love-him" mask.

your wit and honesty hit home and i am sure we are siamese twins separate at birth!! even we seemed to have came back from disney-freaking-world the same day!

pics will be cool. putting a face to the personas is awesome. but i do get to see you and your kids. so, i know you are all real :)

comments back to the comments make us feel special and reciprocated. we read you and you read us. but i life is busy enough for that to be a rule.

recipes are ok. i am personally i recipe-rebel. hate to submit to them, but love to read them. i always have some pre-historic recipe running in batch in my mind as i cook. lately, i keep your salad's recipe running - just to make sure mine is as scrumptious.

forget the men. too much drama and words for them :)

most of all, what drove me right in here first was the title!! few people have the guts to say "demons" let alone write it!

love your writing. keep it coming. sorry i missed you at mom2mom. and i am glad i have had the honor to learn more about you and your real journey into a life that matters and leaves a legacy of value and love.


gr8god said...

should you consider your male audience? that's entirely up to you. the decor doesn't trouble me, secure as i am in my masculinity... :-)

in response to your other questions:

- if you comment, whoever looks at the comments will see them (kind of like your facebook wall). afaik, blogspot does not have the option of e-mailing follow up comments directly to the original commenter. and as a i commenter, i enjoy a bit of interaction with the host of the blog. :-)

- you can resize photos by clicking on them when you're in edit mode, then using the 'handles' (those little dots at the edges of the photo), kind of like resizing a window on your desktop.

- re: recipes. again, content is up to you. if you feel that posting recipes makes the blog thematically incoherent, you could always start a second, food-oriented blog. of course, then you'd have two blogs to manage!

- not sure what you mean about linking to other websites. you can do this at least two ways -- by having a list of favorite websites in your sidebar, or by linking directly to something in a blog post. this is accomplished in edit mode; just select the text you want to make into a link, then click on the little icon in the editor toolbar that looks like a chain link (get it?). that'll open a form for you to enter a URL (aka web address). then close the form, and presto - you'll see that it's turned the selected text into a link.

i don't know enough about what you want your blog to be to make any relevant suggestions. there's a lot of difference between a blog that's a kind of online diary and the kind that someone tries to use as a career, so it depends on what you're really after. i will say, as i've said before, that you write beautifully and your insight and self-awareness make for an enjoyable, sometimes provocative read. i hope you'll keep writing.

Kathy Tuan-MacLean said...

Thanks Barry and Adriana! Now that I know that if I comment, you'll see them (I think that's what Barry wrote), I will leave comments back!

Barry, I was hoping exactly for what you gave me, step by step instructions for what to do, so watch out world!

Thanks for both of your encouragement in all this strange new endeavor!

Lorelei said...

I look forward to reading your blogs and just recently discovered them via facebook. Please keep the recipes. I am also a foodie.

MRuss82799 said...

Bless the husbands that complete us.

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